Ninth Circuit Holds HOLA Preempted California State Law Regarding Escrow Interest, Even After Assignment of Mortgage to National Bank

In a split decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found that the Home Owners’ Loan Act of 1933 (“HOLA”) and its regulations preempted a California state law that required banks to pay borrowers interest on escrow accounts, even after the original savings association assigned the mortgage to a national bank. See McShannock v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, 2020 WL 5639700 (9th Cir. Sept. 22, 2020).

Kansas Federal Court Holds Lender Did Not Violate Usury Law, FDCPA, RESPA, or TILA, but May Have Breached Contract For Not Immediately Applying Partial Payment

The United States District Court for the District of Kansas recently found that a lender did not violate a state usury law or the FDCPA, RESPA or TILA in its handling of plaintiffs’ mortgage, but may have violated the contract by not immediately applying plaintiffs’ partial payments.  See Schneider v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 2020 WL 4673159 (D. Kan. Aug. 12, 2020).  In 2010, plaintiffs obtained a mortgage loan from defendant.  At the time of the loan, the interest rate exceeded the maximum interest rate in Kansas. 

New Jersey Appellate Division Holds Judgment Lien Should Be Discharged Post-Bankruptcy

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently discharged a creditor’s judgment lien on the debtor’s property after the debtor declared bankruptcy and had the underlying debt discharged.  See Cooper Electric Supply Co., v. J & Jay Electric, Inc., 2020 WL 5496490 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Sept. 11, 2020).  In 2008, plaintiff obtained a judgment against defendant and docketed the judgment. 

Second Circuit Holds Collection Letter Did Not Violate FDCPA For Failing to State That Debtor Could Challenge Portion of Debt

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently affirmed a lower court’s decision and held that a debt collection letter that did not state that a debtor had the right to challenge a portion of the debt within 30 days did not violate the FDCPA.  See Chaperon v. Sontag & Hyman, PC, 2020 WL 5240609 (2d Cir. Sept. 3, 2020). 

Kentucky Appellate Court Denies Claim Against Title Searcher as Untimely, Holds There Is No Equitable Estoppel Claim Against Title Insurer Who Initially Gives Coverage for Claim Before Later Denying

The Court of Appeals of Kentucky recently held that claims against a closing attorney who performed a title search were untimely, and that insureds did not have a claim against their title insurance company when the company initially found that the claim was “potentially covered” before later denying the claim based on one policy provision, and then later prevailing on summary judgment on another provision.  See Pasha v. Eisele, 2020 WL 4555812 (Ky. Ct. App. Aug. 7, 2020).

New Jersey Appellate Court Finds Settlement with Title Company Was Not Election of Remedies Preventing Property Owner from Suing Neighbor for Encroachments, Rejects Neighbor’s Adverse Possession Claim

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that a property owner’s $600 settlement with her title company did not bar her later action against her neighbor for the neighbor’s encroachments onto her properties, and further held that the neighbor did not adversely possess the disputed property.  See Leonard v. Pantich, 2020 WL 5049098 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Aug. 27, 2020). 

California Court Holds Improperly Indexed Judgment Insufficient to Give Purchasers Notice

The California Court of Appeals recently held that the purchasers of a home were bona fide purchasers for value without notice of prior liens against the seller when the judgments were indexed against the seller using his middle name.  See Vasquez v. LBS Fin. Credit Union, 52 Cal. App. 5th 97 (2020).  In 2015, plaintiffs purchased the property at issue from Guillermo Guerrero and his wife.

Florida Federal Court Holds Agent Who Arranged SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans Was Not Entitled to Fees from Lender Without Express Agreement

The Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) has been a fertile source of litigation in its short history. In the first of an avalanche of cases on this issue, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida dismissed a complaint brought by an accounting firm in which the firm claimed that it was entitled to agent fees from the defendant lenders in exchange for helping borrowers obtain loans under the PPP from the lenders.

1st Circuit Rejects Homeowners’ Challenge to MERS Assignment and Claim Under Obsolete Mortgage Statute

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a complaint filed by plaintiff homeowners and held that plaintiffs could not challenge the assignment of their mortgage by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”), and held that their mortgage was not obsolete under Massachusetts law despite having been accelerated more than five years earlier.  See Hayden v. HSBC Bank USA, Nat’l Ass'n, as Tr. for Wells Fargo Asset Sec. Corp. Mortg. Asset-Backed Pass Through Certificates Series 2007-PA3, 956 F.3d 69 (1st Cir. 2020).

Idaho Supreme Court Reverses Trial Court, Remands on Issue of Whether Purchaser of Property Was a Bona Fide Purchaser Without Notice of Government’s Unrecorded Right-Of-Way Along Public Road

The Idaho Supreme Court recently reversed a trial court’s decision in favor of a highway district and found that there were issues of fact as to whether a purchaser of a property along a public road was a bona fide purchaser without knowledge of a right-of-way.  See Nampa Highway Dist. No. 1 v. Knight, 166 Idaho 609 (2020).  The case concerned a right-of-way along a 22-foot wide public road.